1st Source Bank takes pride in their efforts to drive small business development and grow local economies through a streamlined lending process that has had significant impact since its implementation in 2014.
Lisa Misch, Business Banking Officer with 1st Source, has a passion for working with small business owners and the role she plays at 1st Source allows her to be well placed to help entrepreneurs and business leaders grow their companies.
Misch has been with 1st Source for nine years, but before joining the team she had spent years working as a teller, a bank manager, and a business banking portfolio manager. When she made the move to a small business lending position, Misch knew that she had found her niche.
“That’s when I learned that was where I wanted to focus,” Misch said of working with businesses. “When I first started with 1st Source, I worked in the business banking credit department. I did that for a little over six years and then this position (Small Business Banking Officer) was created for the Valparaiso region.”
As Business Banking Officer, Misch works with small businesses and focuses on small business lending at fifteen 1st Source Banking Centers across the region.
“I understand the challenges and the frustrations that small businesses come across when they’re trying to grow and keep their employees,” Misch said. “Every industry is different and that’s what I found fascinating. Working with small businesses, seeing what their challenges are, and helping them to overcome those challenges is how I felt that I could add value and make an impact.”
“I’m a small business owner myself,” added Misch. “My husband and I own a construction company so when I meet with these small businesses I understand firsthand exactly what they’re saying. I decided that’s who I wanted to work with and 1st Source is a great fit because we focus a great deal on small business.”
In 1st Source Bank’s desire to reach and help grow small businesses, they took a serious look at the lending process to see what could be done to speed things up while still putting the best interests of their clients front and center.
“Not all banks are out there looking to work with small ‘mom & pops companies,’” said Misch. “1st Source realized that and we, obviously, want to see our communities grow. So, we came up with a streamlined process that says, ‘If you’re looking to borrow anything under $250K, let’s get some basic information from you and process the application.’”
“We realize that a smaller loan request doesn’t necessarily require the same information as a larger loan request. As a result we tweaked some guidelines, put in some new policies, and decided to focus our attention towards helping our communities and small businesses grow.”
For many small businesses, the misconceptions about the difficulties of navigating the loan process are widespread. Each year, 1st Source Bank continues to grow the initiative and their efforts to educate local communities about their streamlined lending process and the resources that are available to every small business owner, no matter the size of their business.
“A lot of times, their first or second sentence is, ‘I know you can’t help me,’” Misch noted. “That’s not necessarily true and so we sit down and work to find what we can do for them.”
While Misch and the team at 1st Source may not be able to lend to every customer, their experience and knowledge of what other resources are available means that they’ll be able to direct that small business owner to get the help they need.
“Some of these companies that don’t necessarily fit, we look at other ways that we can help them. There’s various alternatives out there that we can share to try and help these small businesses. We want to build a relationship.”
“What I really enjoy is seeing companies succeed,” Misch said. “My passion is working with these small companies, and even if they don’t choose 1st Source, I’m able to give them sound advice that will help them along.”
To find out about all of the ways that Misch and the team at 1st Source Bank can help your small business grow, go to: www.1stsource.com
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